Saturday, June 11, 2011
Firefighters Funeral at Saint Mary's
Thousands of public safety employees from the Bay Area and beyond attended the Catholic funerals for Lt. Vincent Perez and paramedic/firefighter Anthony Valerio at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco on Friday. They had died fighting a house fire in Diamond Heights the week before.
According to an article at SFGate, the 53-year-old Valerio was eulogized by union boss Tom O'Connor as "a pony-tailed hippy who called himself 'The People's Paramedic.' He had a big heart and unbounded capacity to help the downtrodden."
There was a major media presence...
...possibly because this was a huge event for the old San Francisco Catholic power structure to reaffirm their centrality in this city...
...with everyone from Governor Brown to Congresswoman Pelosi in attendance.
It made one wonder what the scene would have been like if the firefighters had been Lutheran or Jewish or atheists, for instance.
After the funeral there was a huge motorcade south down the 280 freeway to the Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, which had people whining on internet message boards about public safety workers blocking rush hour traffic and costing taxpayer money...
...which sounded rather mean-spirited.